Date: 28 June 2017

Australian corn growers are set to benefit from higher yields offered by two new corn varieties, Pioneer® brand P9911 corn hybrid and Pioneer® brand P1888 corn hybrid, which have recently been released to the marketplace. Coming off a dry summer for many northern graingrowers in 2016/17, the exceptional drought tolerance P9911 shows is also a critical trait of the variety.

Pioneer Australia National Corn and Microbial Product Lead Jason Scott says P9911 has a good fit for Australian farming systems as a quick maturing grain hybrid.

“P9911 brings more attributes to the market than its predecessor, Pioneer® brand P0021 corn hybrid, being higher yield, a slightly quicker maturity and exceptional drought tolerance,” he explains.

“Disease tolerance between P9911 and P0021 is fairly similar, but there’s certainly an exponential gain in terms of drought tolerance and we saw that in southern Queensland this year where P9911 performed exceptionally well.”

As a 99 CRM (comparative relative maturity) hybrid, P9911 is reasonably quick maturing, and is primarily designed for the stock feed and silage markets as a key hybrid for late planting or double-cropping.

“For growers coming out of their winter crop program and looking to plant a summer crop, P9911 has a good fit for the grain market, and will also make excellent silage in the 90 to 100 CRM range, allowing dairy farmers to cut corn silage and then back up with ryegrass in early Autumn,” Mr Scott says.

“In the 2016/17 summer cropping season we had a limited supply of P9911 in the marketplace and it was grown from south east Queensland all the way to Hobart, so it is very adaptable.”

Pioneer® brand P1888 corn hybrid is another new entrant to the market, and was launched by Pioneer Australia in February 2017 at Norwin, on the Darling Downs in Queensland.

Importantly, Mr Scott says P1888 was also bred from the company’s Australian breeding program, meaning it’s designed to thrive in Australian conditions.

“It’s a 118 CRM gritting hybrid, so it’s a processing hybrid to go into the human consumption market and the yields once again are really good,” he says. “In certain scenarios we’re seeing yields of between 15 to 18-plus tonnes of grain per hectare, which is great.”

“P1888 is for the gritting market predominantly, however being a harder grain with good starch content, it will also make excellent silage.”

The launch at Norwin was a chance to showcase P1888 in both dryland and irrigated plots to a range of industry stakeholders, and Mr Scott says the reaction was good.

“We’ve had extremely positive feedback from exporters and the international market as well, including end users in China and Korea, so that’s been fantastic – in fact they’re looking at stipulating P1888 and P1756 on their contracts.”

Mr Yum from Dongil Grain in South Korea, attended the Norwin field day, and was suitably impressed by the quality of the grain.

“Mr Yum is the largest importer of Australian gritting corn so it is great news for Australian corn producers that he is showing such a keen interest in the new hybrid,” Mr Scott says.

Also in attendance was Andrew Cogswell from Lachlan Commodities, who specialize in supplying high quality grains to the international and domestic food industries. Mr. Cogswell was very impressed with P1888 and believes it will be well received by the snackfood industry.

“Considering the conditions last year, P1888 performed unbelievably on both dryland and irrigation. In both farming systems, it looks fantastic and has shown good disease tolerance,” he says.

“The performance on dryland was stellar given the pressure of the season and I believe this will be an excellent performing hybrid in Queensland.

“P1888 should be well received by snackfood manufacturers and initial trials have demonstrated this. We’ll be conducting more trials this year and I fully expect the hybrid to be approved for use by these manufacturers.”

Mr Scott says the launch of new varieties such as P1888 is always exciting, as it’s a chance to showcase new genetics to the Australian marketplace.

“Breeding varieties is a long process and we’re pleased to work with Australian processors to ensure what we produce is what they need to manufacture products like corn chips and corn flakes.

“We’re also confident the new varieties also have a really good fit for Australian growers, upgrading key traits such as yield and drought tolerance, while also being very marketable,” he says.